How to complain
Contact the business about your
We want to help you make your complaint to the right place, so
you can sort it out fast. This page explains how to complain about
different financial issues.
Contact the business about
The first step you should take to resolve a complaint is to
contact the business that holds your account or sold you the
product or service, and explain the problem. You can do this by
phone, in person, or in writing.
Make a formal complaint to the
If you're not satisfied with the answer from the business, or if
the problem can't be sorted out, ask the business for their
complaints handling procedure or look for it on their website.
Formal complaints should be made in writing, so in your letter
or email you should:
- include the word 'complaint' in the heading or subject
- include your name, contact details and the date
- set out the problem clearly and stick to the facts
- include copies of relevant documents such as receipts or
invoices. Keep the originals and a copy of your complaint
If you don't receive a response in a reasonable time or you're
unhappy with their response, you can approach an independent
Sample complaint letters
Here are some sample complaint letters about financial services
that you can use as a guide:
Sample letter of complaint about insurance (RTF,
Sample letter of complaint about financial advice
Sample letter of complaint about bank account
The Financial Rights Legal Centre also have a sample letter generator to help
you create professional and legal letters to send to financial
service providers like banks, creditors and insurance companies.
Letters about credit, debt and banking are only applicable in NSW,
but the insurance-related letters can be used all over
Help for Indigenous consumers
For help with making your complaint, you can contact ASIC's
Indigenous Help Line on 1300 365 957 or
the following Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumer
For more information and advice about making a complaint, see
a financial counselloror a financial capability worker.
independent complaints scheme
Nearly all financial services, energy, water and
telecommunications businesses belong to an external dispute
resolution (EDR) scheme. The EDR scheme hears complaints for free
and can be a simpler alternative to resolving disputes in
An EDR scheme can help you if:
- you are not happy with the business' answer to your
- the business makes you an offer you are not satisfied with
- the business does not respond to your complaint within a
Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)
On 1 November 2018, a single EDR scheme, known as the Australian
Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), replaced the Financial
Ombudsman Service (FOS), the Credit and Investments Ombudsman
(CIO) and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT).
The old schemes will continue to deal with complaints received
before 1 November 2018. If you have a question about an
existing complaint, contact the dispute resolution scheme handling
For more information about the new scheme, see ASIC's media release, or contact AFCA on 1800
If your utility provider won't help you, you can complain to one
of the ombudsman schemes below. Energy and Water Ombudsman Services
in each state provide advice and conciliation services for
consumers with complaints about energy or water providers.
Complaints about consumer
goods and services
State government agencies can help with complaints about
consumer goods and services.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has a
complaint letter generator
available on their website. Use this tool to create a letter of
complaint to send to the business you purchased the product or
received the service from.
Complaints about prices and
The ACCC (ACCC) and the state government agencies
listed above can help with complaints about prices, competition,
unfair market practices, product safety, franchises and
advertising. You can contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.
Reporting scams and financial
If your complaint involves a scam, visit What to do
if you've been scammed for information on where to report
If you believe there has been misconduct relating to the
management of a company, its directors or officers, you can lodge a complaint with ASIC.
If you're not sure who to contact about your complaint call
ASIC's Infoline on 1300 300 630.
If you're unhappy about the service you are
receiving or you aren't sure whether something is illegal, don't be
afraid to complain.
Last updated: 17 Dec 2018